February 24, 2019 “From now on”, a Context for the Holy Spirit

“From now on”, a Context for the Holy Spirit

Has the Earth ever been without the presence of God? Genesis 1.2 (Amplified Bible, 2015) tells us that the Spirit of God was, even, “brooding” over the darkness and unformed earth. Genesis 12.1-4 tells us that God spoke to and instructed Abram to move to the Promised Land. Exodus 3.1-10 tells us that God spoke to and instructed Moses to retrieve the enslaved Israelites from Egypt. Exodus 13.21-22tells us that God traveled with and led the Israelites by a visible cloud by day that became lighted during the night. Proverbs 21.1tells us that God turns the kings/leaders into the ways He wishes. Galatians 4.4-7 tells us that Jesus came at the appointed time. So, is it not reasonable to believe that God continues to watch over the earth today (2 Chronicles 16.9; Psalm 32.8; Deuteronomy 31.6; Hebrews 13.5-6). Each of these passages reveals the loving God we serve, although unseen by human eyes, except for a period of three years (Isaiah 64.4).

Can you believe in what (Who) you cannot see? How? What is the comparison with things you have come to believe, like gravity, flight, or the taste of chocolate ice cream? What pictures came to mind with these words? What word identifies the Holy Spirit?

John 14.1-31 provides answers to these questions. In these verses, Jesus speaks volumes of theology, which you have heard and might through me in another study. Presently, I want us to learn about the amazing Holy Spirit. Jesus spoke at length about Him in chapters 14-16 because He wants us to be able to converse with Him as the disciples did with Jesus the Son.

So, what does the context of Jesus’ teaching tell us about the Holy Spirit and why is this important?

What do Jesus’ words in verses 1-15 tell us about the Apostles, who were recruited by Him as disciples and chosen by God for Him as Apostles (Luke 6.12-16)?

Verse 1: their minds were “troubled” (John 1.21-38). Why? What was Jesus’ remedy?

Verses 2-5: they did not know Who Jesus was. What should they understand from His discussion of His Father’s house?

Verses 7-11: they had not made the connection of Jesus with Exodus 34.10 and Deuteronomy 18.18. What connection did Jesus make? Why was He surprised? See John 15.24.

Verses 13-14: they had forgotten Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 10.7-8 and their experience, in Luke 10.1-11& 17-19.

Verse 12: what visualization was Jesus planting in their minds that would be fulfilled by verses 13-14? See Mark 16.15-20.

John 14.6-7 are a comprehensive summation of the Name, “Jesus”.

  • the Name is “the way” for coming to Father God (Matthew 13-14; John 14.15);
  • the Name is “the truth” to be learned from and about our Father 
(John 1.17; 37-38a);
  • the Name is “the life” that resides eternally with our Father 
(John 1.4; 57 & 63);
  • the Name is the ONLY portal into our Father’s presence (John 31); and
  • the Son manifested all of the characteristics of our Father 
(Colossians 2.9-10).

“From now on” (John 14.7) speaks of the Holy Spirit continuing the work of Jesus through the Apostles (and believers in future generations; Matthew 28.19-20), as Jesus prays in John 17.18 and The Acts of the Holy Spirit detail as early evidences of John 14.12. He continues in believers to fulfill Matthew 10.7-8 (see John 3.8).

(The following discusses “from now on” (John 14.7) from different perspective. The Apostles and disciples received the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), but when do we gain His benefits, and what do these mean?)

Paul states in Ephesians 1.13-14 that believers in Jesus receive the Holy Spirit when we hear the Gospel message. Jesus warns us to be careful what we ‘hear’ each day; see Mark 4.24-25. And, John warns us to discern the source of what we hear, in 1 John 4.1-4. Remember that John’s test question is still appropriate because Christianity depends upon the virgin birth of Jesus (Isaiah 7.14) and upon His atoning death and upon His bodily resurrection (1 Corinthians 15.3-4). satan still wants to disprove these realities.

Each Christian is the result of someone fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew 28.18-20. We heard the Gospel truth and believed in Jesus’ name (John 1.12). At that very moment, we were “baptized into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy

Spirit” (Matthew 28.19). As I have already taught, “into” is an accepted alternative to “in” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, g1519). But, “into” is more in line with Jesus’ teaching in John 17.20-21, as He begins to explain in John 14.10-11.

This seems to be Paul’s understanding in Romans 5.1-5 where his word “access” infers “into”. Faith in the name “Jesus” (John 1.12) becomes our “access” “into” union with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (John 17.21). Thus, the paralytic was healed by faith in Jesus’ name (Acts 3.1-10, 16; 4.12). This is because health is included as part of the name Jesus. (Acts 4.12; Proverbs 3.8, 4.22)

Faith “into” Jesus’ name was His explanation to Nicodemus of the Kingdom of God, in John 3.1-8, about 2.23. We are led by the Spirit (“wind” in verse 8; Strong’s, g4151) to do His work, which Jesus summarized in Matthew 10.7-8. These are our “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2.10). So, “from now on” (John 14.7) we follow the Holy Spirit “into” the fullness of the name of Jesus (John 16.14-15).

God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2.10). So, “from now on” (John 14.7) we follow the Holy Spirit “into” the fullness of the name Jesus (John 16.14-15).

Could this be the meaning of Jesus’ use of “through” in John 14.6? It is only through His name, Jesus, that we enter the presence of God. Remember that the Word was God and took on flesh (John 1.1, 14) and was given the name “Jesus” (Matthew 1.21; Luke 1.31), which Jesus the Son said is the name of His Father (John 17.12).

Is this Name how Jesus is One with His Father (John 14.10-11; 17.22-24)? If so, then the name “Jesus” is the only way Christians can come to the Father’s house, which is a library of truth (John 14.6; 1.17; 18.37). Jesus has given us His Name (John 17.22)!

The Holy Spirit will help us to understand what that means (John 14.26).

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Praise God!!!

Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.

 

February 3, 2019 Washed by Love

Washed by Love

Some Christian denominations include sects that take Jesus’ instruction in John 13.14-15 (Amp) literally; they wash one another’s feet as a practice of worship. Is that what Jesus meant? And, how is washing someone’s feet an illustration of Jesus’ “new commandment” to love one another, as He had loved the disciples; John 13.34-35?

What “love” is Jesus presenting? The Greek words philein, and agapan are two of four that parse our word “love” to give greater understanding. Phileinlove is about personal affection and regard someone has for another person. Agapan love enhances this affection and regard to a higher degree of commitment.

Jesus’ conversation with Peter in John 21.16-17 illustrates the contrast.

The distinction between these two Greek words is thus fitly described by Trench:, “_Agapan_ has more of judgment and deliberate choice; _philein_ has more of attachment and peculiar personal affection. Thus the ‘Lovest thou’ (Gr. agapas) on the lips of the Lord seems to Peter at this moment too cold a word, as though his Lord were keeping him at a distance, or at least not inviting him to draw near, as in the passionate yearning of his heart he desired now to do. Therefore he puts by the word and substitutes his own stronger ‘I love’ (Gr. philo) in its room. (Easton’s; “love”)

Peter seems to be expressing his desire for the warm, personal relationship with Jesus that he enjoyed before denying Him. However, Jesus seems already past that stage and is desiring Peter’s commitment to the evangelistic task ahead. On the third try, Shepherd Jesus gently agrees with Peter as a place for beginning to grow the desired commitment that would fulfill Jeremiah 23.4.

Only in one other exchange does Jesus use phileowith His disciples. In John 15.15, He elevates them from servants to friends, distinguishing between the two as revealing what He has heard from Father God. Servants don’t need to know what their masters are thinking. But, friends deserve to understand out thinking and rationale.

Understanding the connection of washing feet and love comes from connecting John 13.8 (“’Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.’”) to John 13.34 (“‘Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another.’”). The act of washing someone’s feet is like restoring an errant follower of Christ to righteous living (James 5.19-20). Paul expresses the same encouragement in Hebrews 3.12-19.

This is the great need of your day. satan’s devices for stealing, killing, and destroying (John 10.10a) are subtle and clever, like a serpent trapping its prey. Jesus’ disciples faced similar deceptions from the Pharisees and traditions of their day (Mark 7.13).

But, Jesus “kept” His disciples from such harmful philosophies by teaching them what God was telling Him (John 15.15; John 12.49; John 5.19-20; John 1.18). Thus, in His Lord’s Prayer in John 17.6& 11-12, Jesus states that He “‘was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me’”. This is John’s “love” in 2 John 6.

This is the degree of commitment (agapan love) that Jesus requires from us. We are to warn fellow believers by washing satan’s filth which becomes attached through our living in a fallen world; Hebrews 2.1.

References

Amp. Amplified Bible (2015 Edition). www.olivetree.com.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary. www.olivetree.com.

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019 . www.sozoclass.com.

January 6, 2019 Last Things

Last Things

Our previous studies of the first eleven chapters of John’s Gospel have covered three years. Jesus has revealed God (John 1.18) as the Source of Grace and Truth (John 1.17). He has shown “grace upon grace” (John 1.16) through His “I AM” statements: John 6.35 (Bread of Life), 8.12 (Light of the World), 10.9 (the Gate into Eternal Life), 10.11 (the Good Shepherd), and 11.25-26 (the Resurrection and the Life). Jesus will add two more: John 14.6 (the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and the only way to Father God) and 15.5 (the Vine, from which the branches receive nourishment). Jesus has explained the Kingdom of God to us through His explanation to Nicodemus (John 3.8, entered by verses 3 & 5, and explaining the activities of John 2.23).

Chapters 12 through 21 begin six days before the Passover of Jesus’ Crucifixion and continue into the 50 days after His Resurrection (John 12.1; Acts 1.9). Our focus for this study is four points from Chapter 12 that, I believe, are important for believers’ understanding today.

John 12.23: “And Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.’” How did Jesus know?

  • Remember that Jesus had protested on other occasions that His hour had not come (John 2.4, 6, 8) and John had expressed the same (7.30, 8.20).
  • Did the Greek inquirers trigger Jesus’ deduction (John 12.20)? I believe that God sent them for His reason, just as He sent Jesus for a reason to be baptized by John the Baptist (Luke 3.2-3, John 1.29-34). Jesus’ baptism revealed Messiah to the Jews! The Greek inquirers were God’s signal to Jesus that His ministry on earth was completed to that point and were a way of affirming to Jesus that the disciples were ready to take the message of salvation by faith into the world (Matthew 28.18-20 & Mark 16.15-20 & Acts 1.8).
  • It is God Who determines when His servants are prepared for their ‘mission’ (Judges 13.12, Jeremiah 1.5, John 3.27). He may, even, ‘fire, then hire’ to get His servants before the next teachers of additional competence in His protocol of development.
  • Additionally, how do John 12.24 & 28 and Hebrews 2.14-15 explain ‘glorified’?
  • John 12.31: “‘Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.’”
  • How is the ‘judgment of this world’ explained in John 3.16-21? What is the ‘judgement’? What insight do Jeremiah 13.10 and Ecclesiastes 7.29 give about the cause of ‘judgment’? Genesis 6.12 is an example of this.
  • Now, my understanding of “‘now will the ruler of this world be cast out’” is settled that Jesus is telling that He will subjugate and consign satan to the Pit of Hades between the time of placing His body in the tomb and His resurrection three days later (remember that God counts days from sundown to sundown; Ephesians 4.9-10 (Jude 1.6), fulfilling Isaiah 14.12-15). Consequently, satan would be in the Pit until he is released after the Thousand Years Reign of Jesus, in Revelation 20.7.
  • However, my understanding is correct only if the ‘angel’ in Revelation 20.1-3 is Jesus, fulfilling Isaiah 14.12-14, since the Revelation is allegorical and not chronological (for instance, Revelation 12.1-6 about Jesus’ birth).
  • Further, some New Testament translations of Matthew 6.13 use either ‘evil’ (meaning the system of evil) or ‘the evil
one’ (meaning satan, himself). Thus, James 4.7 might be read as resisting evil, like in Jesus’ Model Prayer. Either understanding concludes that Jesus is the One who subjugates satan…even now…and for all time! This is good news for believers as is explained in Luke 10.17 & 19!

John 12.42-43: “Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”

  • Jesus confronted the Pharisees about this in John 5.44. Notice Jesus emphasis on their choice, a deliberate decision, and with eternal consequences (Luke 9.62; Hebrews 6.4-6). Seeking affirmation from mankind blocks affirmation from God!
  • Jesus’ Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13.18-22 illustrates satan’s intimidation of Christians by Islam, progressive philosophers, social media ‘friends’, and college professors. This is happening today, perhaps for cleansing of the church (2 Timothy 3.1-7; Matthew 7.13-14). Are you ready for this challenge? Suited in the ‘armor of God’ (Ephesians 6.10-18)? Are your children and grandchildren?

John 12.48: “‘The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.’”

  • In verse 47, Jesus is the Savior of the world, not the judge. This seems to contradict Paul’s word from Jesus in Acts 17.31 and, even, His separation of ‘sheep and goats’ in Matthew 25.31-46. But, knowing that Jesus never contradicted Himself, His statement in John 12.47 is understood by distinguishing between the ‘person’ of Jesus and the ‘name’ Jesus. The name ‘Jesus’ is the Judge! Paul is saying that the power of the name Jesus raised the person of Jesus from the dead (Acts 17.31). [Consider Paul’s statements in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5, then 24.]
  • In the same way, notice how Jesus distinguished between His “words” and His “word” in John 12.48. His “words” are truth given to Him by God (John 12.49). But, His “word” (“Jesus”) will distinguish His followers. Why? Because…
  • John 12.44 connects Jesus’ name to that of God (John 17.12, 14, 26)! Thus, as God listed in the Decalogue—“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain” (Exodus 20.7), the name “Jesus” is not to be used as cultural slang! Paul describes the importance of the name of God in Philippians 2.9-11. “Jesus” is to be used as a statement of power against evil and an affirmation of wisdom from God (John 1.9, the Source of all human knowledge)!
  • A correct understanding of the Name “Jesus” is a matter of life or death (John 3.16-21; 31; 14.6).

These teachings were among those of Jesus’ last few days of earthly life before His crucifixion and resurrection. His teachings until His trial will be like the proverbial ‘drinking water from a fire hydrant’. Be alert and don’t miss one drop of this fine ‘wine’ (John 2.1-10).

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.

 

December 16, 2018 For Such A Time As This

For Such A Time As This

Have you ever considered that your present residence, age, employment, and such other factors were by intention of God? This question could be asked of your historical residences, ages, employments, and similar factors. By intention opposes Solomon’s “time and change” arguments in Ecclesiastes 9.11 (Bible, also Psalm 33.16-22 & Romans 9.16-18). There is no happenstance with God!

The title above is one illustration of God’s intention. Esther 4.14records Mordecai telling Queen Esther, his cousin (2.15), why God had chosen her to replace Vashti, the rebellious wife of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of Persia. Exther was to thwart the plans of satan’s agent, Haman, to exterminate the Jews in all the provinces.

God’s intentionality can be seen in Joseph and Gideon, and in Mary, Joseph, Simeon, Anna, the particular shepherds, and Magi of the Christmas story. Apostle Paul, another example, reminds us that Jesus fulfilled prophesy by being born in “the fullness of time” (Galatians 4.4-5).

The story of Mary and Joseph being chosen is told in Matthew 1.18-25 and Luke 1.26-38. Joseph, a “just man”, was from Nazareth in Galilee (Luke 2.4) and was a carpenter (Matthew 13.55). The last mention of him is when Jesus is questioning the Temple priests at 12 years old (Luke 2.41-51). It is supposed that Joseph died before Jesus began His public ministry.

John 11.1-44 introduces Lazarus (Greek for “whom God helps”; Bible) and tells us that his death and resurrection was intended “‘for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified’”. He joins the “man blind from birth…’that the works of God might be displayed in him’” (John 9.1-3) and the healed paralytic at Bethesda pool who showed that “‘the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing’” (John 5.1-19). Each person above was born with a mission to reveal God and demonstrate His “grace upon grace” (John 1.16-18).

What about you? What is it about your past which give meaning to your present circumstance? Consider how your parents and of those listed above might have asked the questions of Judges 13.12. What is God’s ‘mission’ for you, as in Jeremiah 1.5, as He revealed it to Joseph? Can you repeat John the Baptist’s recognition of success in John 3.27? These are considerations for your contemplation before beginning the new year; contemplations about yourself and your children….

You were born for such a time as this! Jeremiah 29.12-13.

Reference:

Bible. ESV with Stong’s Exhaustive Concordance of Hebrew and Greek

words. www.olivetree.com.

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2018. www.sozoclass.com.

 

December 9, 2018 Compelling Proof

Compelling Proof

“‘There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already
know’” (Heywood, 1546). [“In 1738 [this saying] was used by Jonathan Swift in his ‘Polite Conversation’ and [was] first attested in the United States in the 1713 ‘Works of Thomas Chalkley’” (ibid).] But, God first penned these words in the writings of Jeremiah (5.21, Bible, 627-586 BC).

These conclusions were true in Jesus’ day, too, as is presented in John 10.1-42, and became the separation between the debaters in verses 19-21. How could some what others could not? Simply answered, the “blind” could not overcome their personal ‘logical argument as to source’. This argument was their default, since they could not contend with the ‘logical argument as to content’, for another human “proof” stood before them — the seeing blind man (John 9.1-7).

Jesus’ most compelling proofs of His divinity are “‘the works that I do in my Father’s name’” (John 10.25). These “‘witness about
Me’” (ibid)! [So do ours!] In a similar setting, Jesus had declared that He was doing in the flesh what He saw Father “Jesus” doing in the Spirit (John 5.19-20; John 1.1, 14; Luke 1.31; Matthew 1.21; Acts 4.12). The Name “Jesus” gave the Son the authority to do in the flesh what He saw God do in the Spirit (Matthew 28.18-20; Luke 10.17, 19).

Was this what God intended in His declarations in Exodus 34.10 and Deuteronomy 18.18? Thus, Jesus offers compelling proof that God came to earth; 1 John 4.1-4! Such “proofs”, also, affirmed the Apostles, Stephen, and Paul in the Acts (2.42, 3.6, 3.16, 4.30, 5.12, 6.8, 8.7, 8.13, 9.34, 9.40, 11.23-26, 13.12, 14.3, 14.9, 14.19, 16.18, 19.11, and other miracles in Acts; also see 2 Corinthians 12.12). The Name “Jesus” is compelling proof of the authority and power of God today (1 Corinthians 1.24)!

Even though Moses’ writings pointed to Jesus, some Jews were “the most deluded,…who choose to ignore what they already [knew]’” (Heywood, 1546). They could not understand the “figure of speech which Jesus used with them” because they did not accept His Name, ‘Jesus’ (John 10.6; John 8.43).

In John 10.1-18, Jesus presents three important facts for the Jews and us to understand:

1.The ‘sheep’ (believers; John 1.12) that belong to Him listen for and only respond to His voice…God’s voice (John 3.8; remember that the Greek word for wind is the same as for spirit). Other voices are deceptive and cause the sheep to run away (John 8.44; 1 John 4.1-4). Does Jesus infer that the Jews had changed what Moses wrote into a philosophy by adding thousands of more ‘commandments’ (Romans 2.12-29; Matthew 23.1-36)? Jesus’ teachings were consistent with the Law and Prophets (Matthew 5.17-20).

  1. Jesus’ ‘sheep’ enter and exit through His “door” to “find pasture” (John 10.7 & 9). A ‘future’ view of this is John 14.6: we exit this present world to enter and find pasture with our Heavenly Father. A ‘past-present’ view of this is John 3.3 & 5: we add to our ‘fleshly’ capability a ‘spiritual’ capability; i.e., we are born a second time and become capable of seeing both ‘with’ and ‘through’ our eyes (like Nicodemus in John 2.23-3.8).
  2. Jesus ‘sheep’ can rest securely in knowing that He will never abandon them (Psalm 27.1& 118.6). He will, even, give up His life, under instruction from God, to defeat an enemy who attacks the sheep (John 10.11-18; Hebrews 2.14-15). I understand Jesus’ expansive comment in John 10.16to mean the Gentiles, as He was training the disciples to witness to them (Matthew 28.18-20).

You cannot explain Jesus’ deeds apart from accepting His Word!

References
Bible. English Standard Version. www.olivetree.com.

Heywood, John. 1546. Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings. www.actualfreedom.com.au.

Kelly, Jack. October 23, 2017. Jesus’ Seven ‘I AM’ Statements in John.

https://gracethrufaith.com.

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December 2, 2018 Light for the Blind

Light for the Blind

“The WHO [World Health Organization] estimates that in 2012 there were 285 millionvisually impaired people in the world, of which 246 million had low vision and 39 millionwere blind. Of those who are blind 90% live in the developing world” (Epidemiology). To imagine the world of the 39 million totally blind, just close your eyes and consider that the darkness would be there when you opened them.

Jesus brought sight to a man who was born blind at least 30 years earlier, in John 9.1-7 (Bible). Note that the man “received” sight, as he states in verse 11, even though he had become accustomed to his blindness. Offers of sight and other “salvation” are only offers until they are “received”, as John 1.12 states and Acts 3.16 and 4.12 testify. The Spirit knew the beggar would receive sight from Jesus and, thus, crossed their paths, which happens in the Kingdom of God (John 3.8). No malady is permanent when the remedy can be received.

But, according to Jesus’ statements in John 9.39-41, the sighted man became blind once more. Perhaps an analogy will illustrate. You may be old enough to remember the “3-D glasses” distributed at some “picture shows” in days gone by that seemed to reveal a third dimension to the characters on the screen. You were able to see “through” the eyes, not just “with” them. Jesus is, here, repeating what God said in Isaiah 42.19, which concept Jesus had already discussed with Nicodemus (John 3.3 & 5 concerning the events of John 2.23). William Blake’s famous poem discusses this problem of sight:

“This life’s dim windows of the soul

Distorts the heavens from pole to pole

And leads you to believe a lie

When you see with, not through, the eye.” (Blake)

Christians are meant to be “blind”, as Jesus states, and our blindness is caused by His “light”, as He infers in John 9.5. We are reminded, here, of the writer, John’s description of the “Word” in John 1.4 & 9. When we “receive” Life from the Word by believing in the Name “Jesus” (John 1.12), we “receive” Light to accomplish the missions variously assigned, as can be understood from reading in sequence Judges 13.12, Jeremiah 1.5, and John 3.27. Apostle Paul’s experience with Light from Life illustrates this (Acts 9.1-19). The Light gives us knowledge sufficient to fully complete the assigned tasks.

But, Jesus says this Light may dim, in John 9.4-5. “Night comes” when the Light from Life diminishes with encroaching “darkness”. This is readily seen with the approaching Winter Solstice, as the daylight becomes shorter in the Northern Hemisphere. Jesus warned about this encroaching spiritual darkness in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6.22-23). satan actively works to replace the “mask” that plunges into darkness, as Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 4.3-4, and Jesus in Matthew 13.18-22. Work to keep the Light on! We need it to do our best work.

“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world”, Jesus is quoted in John 9.5. Obviously, Jesus was not speaking about His physical presence. Rather, He was speaking about His “Word”, His name “Jesus”, which the world wants unspoken. As long as “Jesus” is spoken, there will be “Light” in the world (Acts 4.12)! Paul writes about the power of “Jesus” is 1 Corinthians 1.18-20,24; 2.4-5; & 4.20.

The “power” of “Jesus” may be illustrated in the following.

It is important to note here that countries with primarily Protestant Christian cultures have, historically, added $29,784 to per capita GDP, versus those with Jewish cultures adding $19,320, Roman Catholic cultures adding $9, 358, and Islamic cultures adding only $3,142. (Asmus & Grudem, p. 120).

The Light of “Jesus” explains the difference. Keep the Light in the world!

References:

Asmus, Barry; Grudem, Wayne. 2013. The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution. Crossway. Kindle Edition

Bible. English Standard Version. www.olivetree.com.

Blake, William. Quotes. www.goodreads.com.

Epidemiology. Google. www.worldblindunion.org.

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November 18, 2018 The Word “Word”

The Word “Word”

This Bible study focuses upon Jesus’ use of the word “word” in John 8.31-32. My curiosity comes in remembering that the writer John has summarized his Gospel about Jesus in chapter one. More specifically, John is the only Gospel writer to discuss the “Word” as being with God and being God, in John 1.1-18. God, the Word, put on an earth-suit to reveal Himself to mankind (John 1.14Hebrews 2.14-15). He made the Universe and is the complete Source of all human knowledge (Nash, p. 67). So, it seems likely that John will use “Jesus” and “Word” interchangeably, since they are the same.

This is important for the reason that our salvation depends upon accepting the person of God and not His writings. Paul discusses this in Galatians 3.21 where he states that there was no Law that gave eternal life. None of the 613 laws given by God, including the Ten Commandments, promises eternal life. The Law was given to keep Hebrews from adopting the ways of the nations they were driving out (Leviticus 18.1-30) and to point to the need for a Savior, which God would provide (Isaiah 7.14). God intended for the Jews of the Exodus to become a Nation of Priests to prepare the world for His arrival (Exodus 19.6) to bring salvation (John 3.16).

The interchangeability of “Jesus” and the “Word” are demonstrated in Revelation 19.13. The rider on “Faithful and True” (verse 11; John 1.17) is Jesus, Who is called “The Word of God”. “Jesus” is the “Word” that was given to identify God while He was on the earth (Matthew 1.21& Luke 1.31).

So, when Jesus says “to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples’”, He was encouraging them to hold onto His name “Jesus” (John 8.31). He had previously warned the disciples that “‘you will be hated by all for my name’s sake’” (Matthew 10.22). Thus, Jesus says that true disciples do not give up His name; see Matthew 13.18-23.

Paul warns all, that might give up the saving name, “Jesus”, that they cannot return to its saving power again. In Hebrews 6.4-6, he writes:

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

That is, each person only gets one chance at John 3.16. S/he cannot follow Jesus for awhile, switch to Allah until the contrast becomes obvious (Acts 17.26-27 & 1Corinthians 1.22-25), and, then, accept John 3.16 again. This same logic is not true, however, about waffling on the interpretation and understanding of a verse until it becomes clear over time. Thus, the “Word” “Jesus” is of tremendous importance and is to be “hallowed” (kept holy; Matthew 6.9) and not to be used in “vain” (not believing in its authority and power; Exodus 20.7).

The word, “Word”, is the crux of the confusing misinformation, disinformation, and straw man argued by the Jews. I believe that Jesus uses “word” in John 8.31, 37, 43, 51, and 55 to connect John 1.1 to John 1.14 to Matthew 1.21 and Luke 1.31. That is, the Word is God from the beginning of time. This Word became born for the reason Apostle Paul explains in Hebrews 2.14-15. And, this Baby was given the name “Jesus” because He is part of the Trinity of God. The God-head is named “Jesus”, as Jesus acknowledges in John 17.12 and John 14.24 band Paul infers in Philippians 2.9-11 and Hebrews 13.8.

The Psalmist expresses the same understanding of the use of the “word” in Psalm 107.20, where he speaks about the “word” delivering from destruction. That is what the “Word” Who took on flesh did for whoever would accept “Jesus” (John 1.1 & 14; John 3.16). The 70 disciples returned proclaiming the power of Jesus’ Name to deliver from daily demons, in Luke 10.17. Notice Jesus’ authorization to them and to us in verse 19. The Centurion (Matthew 8.5-13) and Syro-Phonecian woman (Matthew 15.21-28) released the power of the Name Jesus without even speaking it. So, Jesus declared their faith ‘great’! They spoke an understanding of the power of the Word Who took on flesh (John 1.1 & 14). Perhaps, Psalm 103.20 and Mark 16.20 picture these actions and instructs you to speak “Jesus” with faith (not in vain)!

Additionally, Jesus’ teaching in John 15.1-11includes a similar explanation of the “word” in verse 7: “‘If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.’” Abiding in Jesus (John 15.7) and abiding in His “word” (John 8.31; not meaning His teachings) are the same. That is, Jesus is the Word, and the Word is Jesus, from John 1.1&14. In John 12.44, Jesus confirms this point, and, in verse 48, warns that the Word will judge all who deny Him. Notice the affirming dialogue of Son and Father in John 12.28 and how the adoring crowds agree on Palm Sunday, in Matthew 21.9.

Also, “abiding in” is the same concept as being baptized “into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28.19; see John 17.21, too). Jesus states this in John 17.12: “’I kept them IN your name, which you have given me’” (my emphasis). How does Revelation 12.11 extend “kept them in Your name” to us?

So, why would the Jews hate the “word”? Because satan was “thrown down to the earth” from his place in Heaven (Revelation 12.9; and would be “cast out” of earth by Jesus—in John 12.31–into the Pit of Hades, Isaiah 14.12-15) and was leading that generation of ‘blind’ Jews as he had led previous generations, beginning with the Jews in the Wilderness that rejected their God-given, that is, ordained, role in Exodus 19.6. Jeremiah 13.10 explains how this devolution began and continued throughout the generations and continues today, as Paul states in 2 Corinthians 4.3-4.

Blindness might, also, explain why the word “word” was not capitalized, as in John 1.1. For example, it is accepted practice not to capitalize the first letter of pronouns for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Perhaps they included “Word” among these pronouns. Or, the translators did not consider the perspective I bring in this study.

References
Bible.

English Standard Version.www.olivetree.com.

Nash, Ronald. 1982. The Word of God and The Mind of Man. P&R Publishing. Phillipsburg, NJ.

The Word “Word”

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2018. www.sozoclass.com.

 

NOVEMBER 11, 2018 Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking

There is a saying that frames this topic well: a text without a context is a pretext. That is, someone with an agenda will only tell you enough to persuade you to do what they wish. Television and radio advertising for political candidates is a sufficient example.

Thinking is critical and, seemingly, a lost art. Critique today is mostly against one’s personal opinions, and these opinions from, even, unreliable sources, mostly relative to contemporary social media. Frequently, our surface thinking accepts the misinformation (unintentional distortion) and disinformation (intentional distortion) without considering the complete file of information necessary for understanding. Then, too, there are the “straw-man” arguments that cloud the true issue, as in “do it for the children”.

Note the source of misinformation, disinformation, and straw man arguments in the following speech given by legendary ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965:

If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . .

If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them.

If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing. (Harvey)

Manipulators prey upon our lack of time or willingness and/or access to complete information. For example, consider the slippage in critical thinking from a recent survey of Christians.

Ligonier Ministries and LifeWay Research teamed up again this year to conduct a study concerning America’s core theological doctrines, and the results show that evangelicals are “deeply confused.”

The 2018 study examined 34 beliefs based on interviews with 3,000 Americans defined by Lifeway to be evangelicals to discover what they “believe about God, salvation, ethics, and the Bible.” Overall, the study reveals that American evangelicals hold beliefs that are contrary to the historic Christian faith.

Stated Chris Larson, president and CEO of Ligonier Ministries, “It’s never been popular to talk about mankind’s sinfulness or the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ. But at a time when a darkened world needs the light of the gospel, it’s disheartening to see many within the evangelical church confused about what the Bible teaches.”

Results indicate that 69 percent of evangelicals think that the smallest sins do not deserve eternal damnation, 58 percent believe that regular church attendance can be replaced by worshipping alone or with one’s family, and 59 percent believe that the Holy Spirit is a force and not a person. The study also revealed that 52 percent believe people are basically good, and 51 percent believe God accepts the worship of all religions, including Islam. (Survey)

This was true in Jesus’ day, also. How He handled such is instructional for Christians today. Notice how He handled the misinformation, disinformation, and straw man of the Jews who questioned him in John 8.12-59 (Bible).

The word, “word”, is the crux of the confusing misinformation, disinformation, and straw man of the Jews. I believe that Jesus uses “word” in John 8.31, 37, 43, 51and 55to connect John 1.1 to John 1.14 to Matthew 1.21 and Luke 1.31. That is, the Word is God from the beginning of time. This Word became born for the reason Apostle Paul explains in Hebrews 2.14-15. And, this Baby was given the name “Jesus” because He is part of the Trinity of God. The God-head is named “Jesus”, as Jesus acknowledges in John 17.12and Paul infers in Philippians 2.9-11and Hebrews 13.8.

The Psalmist expresses the same understanding of the use of the “word” in Psalm 107.20, where he speaks about the “word” delivering from destruction. That is what the “Word” Who took on flesh did for whoever would accept “Jesus” (John 1.1 & 14;John 3.16). The 70 disciples returned proclaiming the power of Jesus’ Name to deliver from daily demons, in Luke 10.17. Notice Jesus’ authorization to them and to us in verse 19. The Centurion (Matthew 8.5-13) and Syro-Phonecian woman (Matthew 15.21-28) released the power of the Name Jesus without even speaking it. And, Jesus declared their faith ‘great’! They spoke an understanding of the power of the Word Who took on flesh (John 1.1 & 14). Perhaps, Psalm 103.20 and Mark 16.20 picture these actions and instructs you to speak “Jesus” with faith!

Additionally, Jesus’ teaching in John 15.1-11 includes a similar explanation of the “word” in verse 7: “‘If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.’” Abiding in Jesus (John 15.7) and abiding in His “word” (John 8.31; not meaning His teachings) are the same. That is, Jesus is the Word, and the Word is Jesus, from John 1.1&14. In John 12.44, Jesus confirms this point, and, in verse 48, warns that the Word will judge all who deny Him. Notice the affirming dialogue of Son and Father in John 12.28 and how the adoring crowds agree on Palm Sunday, in Matthew 21.9.

Also, “abiding in” is the same concept as being baptized “into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28.19; see John 17.21, too). Jesus states this in John 17.12: “’I kept them IN your name, which you have given me’” (my emphasis). How does Revelation 12.11extend “kept them in Your name” to us?

So, why would the Jews hate the “word”? Because satan was thrown down to the earth” from his place in Heaven (Revelation 12.9; and would be “cast out: of earth by Jesus—in John 12.31—into the Pit of Hades, Isaiah 14.12-15) and was leading that generation of ‘blind’ Jews as he had previous generations, beginning with the Jews Wilderness that rejected their God-given, that is, ordained, role in Exodus 19.6. Jeremiah 13.10 explains how this devolution began and continued throughout the generations and continues today, as Paul states in 2 Corinthians 4.3-4. Consequently, we might expect their misinformation, disinformation, and straw man arguments to distract away from the central issue.

John 8.48 is an example of misinformation and disinformation. “You are a Samaritan” is misinformation, and “have a demon” is disinformation. These and similar comments have been used by satan earlier in other Bible passages to confuse the other Jews listening to the dialogue. Conversely, Jesus exposes and condemns the Scribes’ and Pharisees’ misinformation and disinformation in His Seven Woes in Matthew 23.1-36, Which do you identify? How did Jesus respond?

But, let’s focus on straw-man of Abraham. Jesus acknowledged that Abraham was their physical father, in John 8.56but crippled this argument, in verse 39, by reminding them of God’s acclaim of Abraham: faith in God resulting in obedience to Him. Paul explains in Galatians 3.6-9and Romans 4.16what is illustrated by Abraham’s actions (his “works”) in Hebrews 11.8-10. James (2.21-24)emphasizes the importance of behaviors from thinking that is directed by the right mindset. Thus, Jesus continues in John 8.40that Abraham would have acknowledged Jesus as Savior and made Him Lord. He looked for the day of his Seed (John 8.56; Galatians 3.16)!

The Jews may have been physical progeny of Abraham but were not his spiritual progeny. Rather, Jesus rightly identifies satan as their father in John 8.44, recognizing that their lies about Himself were the lies that satan had repeated since deceiving their fore-fathers from accepting and obeying God’s ordained role for them. Notice Jesus’ other descriptor for satan: he murdered, as in the prophets (Matthew 23.30 & Luke 11.47-51). Jesus may have been foretelling of their murder of Him.

It is ironic that the Jews’ disdain for truth (John 1.17) even deceived their response to Jesus’ explanation to believers about the Source of truth; that is, the Name “Jesus” (the Word; see earlier paragraph). 
See John 8.33: we “have never been enslaved to anyone”. Roman soldiers were their current masters; Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians had been the masters of their fore-fathers. Jesus’ reply in verses 34-35 is their disdain for the Name above all others (Philippians 2.9-11) provides only momentarily pleasure. Paul writes about this by contrast in Romans 6.16.

Dr. R. G. Lee’s sermon title seems an appropriate conclusion to this matter. During his years as pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, he preached “Payday, Someday” (Sermon). Mankind can listen to satan’s agents’ speaking just enough truth to cover their misinformation. And, mankind can, even, accept the disinformation lie without searching out the truth. Further, mankind can give in to the emotion of the straw-man argument without looking for what it is hiding. That is, a text without a context is a pretext!

Only the Holy Spirit knows for sure; ask Him (John 16.13-15; John 14.26; Romans 8.14)

Only when mankind abides in the name Jesus (John 8.31) will we experience the freedom of truth and “never see death” (John 8.51).

1 Peter 1.22-25!

References
Bible. The Holy Bible. English Standard Version. www.olivetree.com.

Harvey, Paul. April 3, 1965. ‘If I Were the Devil’ (Warning for a Nation)

Sermon. SermonAudio.com.

Survey. November 2, 2018. Study ShowsAmerica’s Evangelicals Are ‘Deeply Confused’. www.factn.org.

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2018. www.sozoclass.com.

 

October 21, 2018 Symptom or Cause?

Symptom or Cause?

One of the challenges we face is distinguishing between symptoms and causes. For example, a declining business profit is a symptom, not a cause of business failure. The failure occurred with customers migrated to other providers for perceived or real reasons. Likewise, the recent national uproar over a judicial nominee was only a symptom of a deeper ideological divide.

An ideological difference was the cause of the symptoms charged by the Jewish religious leaders against Jesus: Jesus healed on the Sabbath, and Jesus made Himself equal with God (Bible, John 5.18). John had previewed such disagreement in John 1.17: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” The Jewish leaders were unwilling to admit what Apostle Paul states about the “guardian” purpose of the Mosaic Law in Galatians 3.15-29.

Jesus’ rhetoric in His dialogue with the Jews, John 7.14-24, deals with both of their complaints. In verses 19-23, Jesus reveals their duplicitous behaviors of holding Him to a standard they were unwilling to keep: “Yet none of you keeps the law.” Then, Jesus illustrates the narrowness of their thinking in His contrast of their circumcising a man on the Sabbath with His healing the “man’s whole body”, referring to the paralytic at Bethesda Pool (John 5.1-17).

Jesus alludes to the cause in John 7.16-18. If the Jews were listening to God, then they would know that His words are the same as God’s. Thus, Jesus was not speaking from His authority but with God’s. This is reference to God’s calling upon their ancestral fathers in Exodus 19.6. His accusers continued to rebel against God’s intention that they be a “nation of priests” to the world. Their disdain for God had devolved into advocacy for satan, as Jesus accuses in John 8.44.

Do we observe this in society today? That is, has a personal unwillingness to discover and nurture God’s calling caused some persons to become accusers of God for their plights? Paul discusses this in Romans 1.18-32. John the Baptist infers this in his answer in John 3.27. Jonah’s story confirms my conjecture and offers his remedy. God’s tether only extends so far, as Solomon discovered to his regret (Ecclesiastes 12.11.13; 1 Kings 11.1-11). Proverbs 19.3and 21.30state that God is not at fault; only man. So, are you fulfilling God’s calling on you (Jeremiah 1.5)?

John 7.24is Jesus’ conclusion in His rhetoric against the Jewish religious leaders’ two accusations: “‘Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.’” How do His words speak to John 1.18, about manifesting God, and John 3.8, about God leading Christians in the Kingdom of God?

Jesus’ dialogue with His half-brothers in John 1.1-10about attending the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles/Booths (Succoth) offers insight into Jesus’ understanding of the pervasiveness of the symptoms that reveal their cause. How do John 1.10-13 and John 3.19-20 explain His statement in John 7.7: “‘The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil’”? The pervasiveness of symptoms that had captured Jesus’ brothers is revealed by the following from Pursue God:

  • God’s original commands were the 613 laws of Moses (called “Torah”) that guided the ancient nation of Israel.
  • The Mishnah was an oral tradition of commentary on the Mosaic Law that introduced additional, man-made rules that “built a fence” around the Mosaic Law so people wouldn’t even come close to breaking God’s commandments.
  • The Pharisees were concerned with keeping these additional commandments and especially with having the outward appearance of keeping them. (Rules)

However, Jesus reminded the Samaritan woman that true worship is not in observing rules of man but is the truth of God that flows like living water from within Christians (John 4.23; John 7.37-39; John 3.8). Our activities of worship are symptoms of the cause emphasized in Jeremiah 9.24. Isaiah 64.4, indeed!

References

Bible. English Standard Version. www.olivetree.com.

Rules. The Torah and Mishnah.www.pursueGod.org.

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Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2018. www.sozoclass.com.

 

October 14, 2018 Pushback

Pushback

Simeon was correct: Jesus would grow up as “a sign that is opposed” (Bible, Luke 2.34). Who opposed Jesus and why? Are their arguments similar to those cast against Christians today, as Jesus said to expect, in Matthew 10.16-26? Notice in verses 19-20that in such occasions, we are to depend upon the work of the Spirit of God in the Kingdom of God, as He blows first one way, then another (John 3.8Isaiah 30.21). What can we learn from Jesus’ use of such moments that prepares us for expected opposition to “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1.27)?

John 5.16-18 tells us the two reasons the Pharisees opposed Jesus. These two reasons illustrate that truth is unwelcome when it opposes the unrighteous circumstance of money and power. This is seen, in Jesus’ context, as the contrasts in John 1.17. Apostle Paul explains the purpose of the Law and its complement in the coming of Christ in Galatians 3.23-29 (Leviticus 18.1-4, 24-30).

The Pharisees and Sadducees had expanded the code of God through Moses in condemnable ways, similar to Islam, as in ceremonial washings and such regulations which they, themselves, were unwilling to observe (Matthew 23.1-36).
 John the Baptist had already condemned this “brood of vipers” for standing behind Abraham’s robe to, supposedly, give credibility to their acts (Matthew 3.7-9; Luke 3.7-8). Jesus would defeat that argument in a later exchange (John 8.39-47).

The Spirit of God was leading Jesus in the previous and current encounters with the Jewish religious leaders. The Spirit was confronting them because of Exodus 19.6

John 5.17 & 19-21 are another illustration of the Kingdom of God that Jesus discussed with Nicodemus in John 3.1-8. Jesus is living out verse eight as He says in John 5.19-20. Paul joins Jesus (John 17.18) in reminding us that we are to be led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8.14) to work in the Kingdom of God (Ephesians 2.10).

The remainder of Jesus’ encounter with the Pharisees in John 5.21-29 is understood from John 1.14 & 16-18 & 31-34 and 1 John 4.1-6. This was Spiritual Warfare. The Pharisees did not want the Messiah to appear! High Priest Caiaphas explained this to the Sanhedrin, that “‘everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away…our place’” (John 11.45-50; 18.14); money and power!

So, Jesus spoke truth in declaring that He, now, was the Judge (John 5.22-29; Acts 17.31). That is, the Name above all names (Philippians 2.9-11) walked the Earth now as the plumb line of veracity. Receiving His Name would bring life (John 1.12;Acts 4.12). Not receiving His Name would mean a continuation of death throughout eternity (Ephesians 2.1-3 & John 3.16-21). satan has been trying to diminish this truth since before Jesus’ birth, as John writes about in Revelation 12.1-6. Paul writes about this in Romans 1.18-32 and 2 Timothy 3.1-6; see, also, Leviticus 18.1-30. Contemporary “morality” is nothing more than the old immorality that satan recycles (2 Corinthians 4.3-4).

John 6.26-69focuses on the real issue: our choice of “bread”. This is understood from two perspectives. First, Jesus reveals the true motives of the 5,000+ who had participated in the Kingdom- of-God miracle by having their physical hunger satisfied with morsels of blessed bread and fish (John 6.1-14 & 22-26) and had come for more. Their motives were the same as Nicodemus (John 3.1-2) and the Samaritan woman (John 4.13-15). Such reveal the “soul” directed by the “body” (1 Thessalonians 5.23); that is, behavior directing thinking, instead of the mindset driving thinking (Mark 12.30).  John warns about this (1 John 2.15-17).

Jesus second perspective presumes the mindset driving thinking but questions the proper mindset. In John 6.48-58, Jesus uses hyperbole to make His point: consume My “grace and
truth” (John 1.17)! “Grace and truth” are more important than what your fathers “ate…in the wilderness” (John 6.49). These are more important than the Judaism taught by the Pharisees’ inculcation or the Greek philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, and others. Paul would describe these as “elemental spirits of the world” (Colossians 2.8-10).

Many of these aberrant teachings and lifestyles are promulgated by contemporary philosophers and their disciples over various media. Among the teachings are 10 Schools of Philosophy and Why You Should Know Them:

Nihilism: leading among angst teens; nothingness.

Existentialism: leading among angst undergraduates; no purpose.

Stoicism: practiced by people in high-stress environments; accept what you cannot control; it will pass.

Hedonism: pleasure/happiness is the one thing of intrinsic value.

Marxism: a method of critiquing a consumerist society for reducing everything to a commodity; anti- capitalism because of labor theory of value.

Logical Positivism: base everything on logic and empirical evidence for verification.

Taoism: based around ideas of humility; a focus on the individual, simplicity, and naturalness; fused with Buddhism and birth of Zen.

Rationalism: cannot trust senses; knowledge primarily from reason and thought, not empirical evidence.

Relativism: views are relative to perspective; no absolute truth or moral facts; cannot critique another culture.

Buddhism: suffering has a cause that can be overcome by meditation; many schools; some pantheon of gods; some karma and reincarnation as part of life; mindfulness in West is aligned. (Hendricks, 2017).

Jesus said we should expect pushback from adherents of these and other mindsets (Matthew 10.22 & 25). Our pushback will be from the Spirit of God as we encounter them by pushing back with truth in the Kingdom of God (John 3.8). Ultimately, satan does not want John 3.16 & 14.6 and Acts 4.12known outside (or inside) the church! “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5.16). How does Revelation 12.11 give Christians assurance of victory? Is this like Genesis 1.28?

References

Bible. English Standard Version of the Bible. www.olivetree.com.

Hendricks, Scotty. 2017. 10 Schools of Philosophy and Why You Should Know Them. www.bigthink.com.

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2018. www.sozoclass.com.